The Next Generation – Our Future

Lynn Frankland

Brunswick Community College

Topic: The hopes and dreams we have for ourselves and our children

Level: Mixed

Objectives: Students will learn vocabulary, explore ideas and express their hopes for the future

Time: The time requirement varies from level to level. If the classes are mixed, allow three sessions for all of the work to be completed. Naturally the advanced students will finish sooner, but they may help other students or work on other materials from the instructor.

Background: After talking and writing about traditions, holidays, and childhood memories in the previous month, it was an easy transition for our class to talk about the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves and our children. Some of our students are the next generation and some are parents of the next generation. To arrive at what students hope for their children and for themselves, start by brainstorming. Some of our results are very surprising.

Brainstorming: Begin by talking about why each person came to this country. What was their childhood like? What is the difference between what they experienced and what they want for their children? For the younger students, those who are the next generation for their parents, ask what they want for their lives. It helps to have a few suggestions ready to put on the board to get the conversation going. Usually talking about more money is a good start.

Vocabulary: The class identifies the needed vocabulary while brainstorming about the topics. Students then use the generated vocabulary to write their stories. The vocabulary list developed by our class is given on the following page.

school / better jobs / a better home
university / more jobs / their own home
college / safer jobs / affordable housing
education / more money for working hard / better cars
return to a / better food / cheaper gas
profession / clean water to drink / more fuel efficient
clean air to breathe
health care

Cultural note: Some of our students were able to talk about the professions they had that they no longer can practice in their new country. When our students sometimes arrive in work clothes or dragging protesting children, we instructors may forget that some of our students are educated professionals who have given up a great deal to come here. Some of them have as much education as we have. A few have more.

Draft: Students may begin to write after the brainstorming session. A few will need to compose in their own language and then translate their writing. The instructor will need to decide if every error will be corrected or just the future tense or the helping verb or some other major grammatical form will be the emphasis. As with teaching English-speaking students, instructors must walk the fine line of informing students without making so many corrections that they become discouraged.

Collaborate and Revise: Make an opportunity for students to ask for help in whatever they feel they need to revise. With permission from the students, use passages of their writing that work well and write them on the board. This might be a time to write a class essay. Each student can contribute a line from his/her writing to make a class composite. Show how to move sentences around, correct the spelling, and use other English conventions. This group composition is a useful way to produce a polished work but keep changes neutral so no one feels threatened.

Illustrate: Students may choose from a variety of clip art that the instructor has printed or they may draw their own pictures.

The Next Generation

I want that my whole family could go to the school, because I believe that education is very important for their formation. Also I hope that my family will be more humane, for example they have a capacity to feel love and compassion for others people. I think that most people are very materialist (we want money, just money).

I hope that my family, that my children, will be good workers, responsible, and respectable. I think that a better life is not just material ( not just cars and beautiful houses).

Beatriz Bonifacio

Graphics from Microsoft Clip Art and Media at

The Next Generation

I want it better for my family. I want my children to have a good education and to go to the university.

For now the children play very happy without preoccupations. Some day I want to go back to Vera Cruz, I want to work in my profession. I want to execute my plan to work and I want the government of Mexico to be better. It is the future of all Mexicans, with better health care, better work and so the people will not emigrate toward others countries. We need better security for the people. It would be beautiful with all the changes for the good; to do what people want in life, to go ahead in your life and to go ahead in your projects of life, with better well-being for the children and the future generations too. I would like to see a change for a better future for Mexico, without violence and to go ahead with change.

Erica Hernandez

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Erica has participated before in our writing project. She always has interesting things to say. Each time she participates I learn something new about her. When she refers to “want to work in my profession”, she is talking about teaching. She attended the university and was a school teacher before she came to the US.

The Next Generation

I would like a great job so that I can support my family and be able to bring them to the United States. I would like that they attend a good school and have a good car. I want a big house with a dishwasher and a big computer. For my wife I want that she will finish her education at the university. So she can have a good career. I want to have a career as a singer. I know that God will help me.

Jan Carlos Ayala

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Jan is a new arrival from Puerto Rico. He came first to work and to earn the money to send for his wife and baby. He enjoys our classes and is looking forward to the day he can send for his family.

The Next Generation

For my family I want them to have a better life. I want that they go to the school to learn a profession and they can have better jobs for the future. I don’t have children now but when I get them I want that they have everything better, better house and a better car. I want that they have a better environment, clean air, clean water and good food. I want that they have cheaper gas and better health care in the hospitals.

Yordanis Arguelle Perez

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Yordanis Arguelle Perez---Jordan, as we call him----is from Cuba. He is a young man who works all day and then comes to English class at night. He is funny and has an able mind. Jordan has more confidence in writing English than speaking it. Through our writing project he has gained confidence and had success using the English he already knows.

The Next Generation

When I go back to Guatemala I want to have better relationships with my friends. For my family I want to have the happiness that I have dreamed about.

Elfego Cardoso

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Elfego is from Guatemala and is looking forward to earning enough wages to return some day and to give his family a higher standard of living.

The Next Generation

The next generation future for my child is: I wish and to try exceptionally for my child is better in future and for my own family also. Then I will think of some things for making my family’s life in Viet Nam better too.

After my baby is born, I have to take good care of him (her) a few years, and then I will try to find a job to make money: I will spend some to live and save some daily or monthly for my child to go to the university. I want to and will try to do this thing because I know after he or she finishes at the university, he or she will have a good training and have a good knowledge of life and himself. And she will have a profession for the rest of her life.

I don’t have a profession and don’t have any training at the university, I was just a worker in Viet Nam. Only thing is I try to learn English and then look for a job to make a living and save for my child to go to the university and maybe help my family in Viet Nam.

I want to go to school for job training but I don’t know yet, we will try to do it if we can.

I want my child to have a better life than when I was young. I think in the USA I will have a life better than in Viet Nam country. I think everything is better than in Viet Nam, better security, good hospital. Maybe I can bring a few members of my family to come to the USA some day. (It’s just a wish.)

In the USA country I want a better pay, cheaper gas, affordable house so I can pay to get a new house, and we can get one more car.

Huong Liptok


Huong is expecting her first child in Feburary. She is an advanced English student.

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